I40 too rough for SLK? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

Spring RoadTrips Hottest destinations, routes and "what's cool" right now!

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#1 Old 04-08-2016
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I40 too rough for SLK?

My wife and I were looking forward to cruising Route 66 from Oklahoma City to the Grand Canion, coming from Memphis via I40. When I went to AAA to obtain trip info their agent told me that she had torn the bottom off of a Toyata on this drive. She said I40 has too many potholes for an SLK, that we should go in a rental or my Tundra, either of which totally miss the point.

Does anyone have recent experience with this stretch of I40/Route 66? Should I risk my SLK on this trip or should I choose a different destination? Any thoughts greatly appreciated!
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#2 Old 04-08-2016
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We have had our Slk and our 40 foot motorhome and left no parts along the way. Try this link.

Seligman, Az. Route 66 Town
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#3 Old 04-14-2016
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I-40

I had my SLK on a short stretch of I-40 last week East of you both from Knoxville west out of town about 5 miles and from Sevierville to Knoxville about 15mi. I did notice one or two very deep and scary looking tiger traps running right in the seam along where the center stripe is located between each pair of lanes. These are only an issue when you are changing lanes and requires the driver to be alert. I cracked a wheel about 6 weeks ago on I64 north of there due to the same sort of pothole.

About 3 years ago I drove from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City but was in a Box rental truck pulling a car trailer. The interstate was OK (terrible by German Autobahn Stds but typical for SW USA). However, I would not attempt to drive any of the remaining pieces of Route 66 that often parallel that route. I tried this for short stretches in Arizona and New Mexico and found all of Rt 66 to be unacceptably rough for even driving a rental truck on. You might exit and check out pieces of it or go thru Winslow or Kingman, etc but you will NOT want to drive cross country on much of it in my opinion. I doubt that Rt 66 has improved over the last 3 yrs either.

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#4 Old 04-14-2016
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Originally Posted by Bucket List View Post
My wife and I were looking forward to cruising Route 66 from Oklahoma City to the Grand Canion, coming from Memphis via I40. When I went to AAA to obtain trip info their agent told me that she had torn the bottom off of a Toyata on this drive. She said I40 has too many potholes for an SLK, that we should go in a rental or my Tundra, either of which totally miss the point.

Does anyone have recent experience with this stretch of I40/Route 66? Should I risk my SLK on this trip or should I choose a different destination? Any thoughts greatly appreciated!
Last summer me and my SO took I-40 all the way from Barstow, CA to Raleigh, NC (I've done the remaining Raleigh to Wilmington, NC part many times). Except for one unplanned detour looking for a restroom we didn't leave I-40 and I don't recall the road as particularly rough. I was in a Ford Explorer, but I would not have worried about the road if I had been in my SLK (or the Thunderbird I used to own for that matter).

I've always wanted to do the I-40 trip since the first time I saw the sign in Wilmington, NC that listed the distance to Barstow. I was pleased to see a sign in Barstow that listed the distance to Wilmington, NC. But, I'll never do it again. It was one boring road for much of the distance.


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#5 Old 04-15-2016
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Thanks to all for taking time to post your experiences. Taking everything into account we have decided to go up the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Shenandoah Valley. Looks like a more comfortable drive. On the way up we will take a guided trout fishing trip in TN. Thanks!
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#6 Old 04-16-2016
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Originally Posted by Bucket List View Post
Thanks to all for taking time to post your experiences. Taking everything into account we have decided to go up the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Shenandoah Valley. Looks like a more comfortable drive. On the way up we will take a guided trout fishing trip in TN. Thanks!
You need to take US 129 know as the Tail of the Dragon. It runs from TN to NC it is 11 miles and has 318 curves. Curves are so sharp NC side does not permit tractor trailer trucks. Check this website. http://tailofthedragon.com/
My wife after doing it one time refuse to do it again.


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#7 Old 04-21-2016
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Think I'll have to let my wife stay in the B&B while I take that drive. Really like your car. Thanks!
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#8 Old 04-21-2016
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I took a trip from Alb. NM to Chicago about 5 years ago on my motorcycle. I wanted to try to follow as much of route 66 as possible. What I found was several maps that can direct you as far as stops you want to make, where the old route is, and when to avoid it.
You first need to understand, that I-40 is NOT route 66. It may over lap it, but for all intents and purposes it mostly parallels it. You have to use common sense, because route 66 is not drivable from beginning to end, no matter what you have. There are sections that have been shut down completely to motor vehicle traffic. You can follow many areas of the old route, and if I could take an 800 lb Harley, riding 2 up, when I was 65, you should be able to take your SLK.
The trick is good planning, and when unsure, ask the locals before deciding on the old or new route in any questionable areas.
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